Mayor election live blog and open thread

7:07 pm - May 2nd 2008

by Sunny Hundal    

      Share on Tumblr

01:52am Boris said:

On a more serious note, Johnson said: “I do not for one moment believe that this election shows that London has been transformed overnight into a Conservative city.”

But he said he thought the result did show that the Conservatives could be “trusted with the greatest, most cosmopolitan and generous-hearted city” in the world.

He got the first bit right. He still needs to prove the second part.

First count
Boris Johnson (C) 1,043,761 (43.20%, +14.19%)
Ken Livingstone (Lab) 893,877 (37.00%, +0.33%)
Brian Paddick (LD) 236,685 (9.80%, -5.42%)
Sian Berry (Green) 77,374 (3.20%, +0.13%)
Richard Barnbrook (BNP) 69,710 (2.89%, -0.23%)
Alan Craig (CPA) 39,249 (1.62%, -0.61%)
Gerard Batten (UKIP) 22,422 (0.93%, -5.26%)
Lindsey German (Left List) 16,796 (0.70%, -2.92%)
Matt O’Connor (Eng Dem) 10,695 (0.44%)
Winston McKenzie (Ind) 5,389 (0.22%)

Second count
Boris Johnson (C) 1,168,738
Ken Livingstone (Lab) 1,028,966

23:56pm -Boris has won it! Damn

23:38pm On OurKingdom, Anthony Barnett says:

Watching the news. It is ridiculous that an apparently very expensive counting system for London takes longer than doing it by hand, shows up the electronic results to everyone at the count as it proceeds but prevents an ‘official’ announcement of what is clearly a decisive win for Boris driven by the suburbs even though Ken’s absolute vote has risen. A warning for the coming general election, the Conservatives spent their money well in the suburbs and this suggests that their targeting of the marginals will have a big impact on the House of Commons whenever the election is called.

8:45pm right, I’m heading out! I might come back tonight and write something incoherent. Sky News is predicting Boris 53% Ken 47%.

8:10pm I’m bored. Since the results aren’t due in till 10pm, the news services are re-running the same tired cliches about the Local Elections. *yawn*

8pm : Why its not entirely a bad night:

1) The closeness of the race dmonstrates that the newspapers have little impact. Despite the combined endorsement of the Sun, Daily Mail, Telegraph, Times and Evening Standard, this was a very tight race.

2) Boris may have started off as a hard-right buffoon from the Spectator, over the case of this race he changed his mind on nearly everything: the Congestion Charge will remain; he’s opposed to the Third runway; backed off on repealing the smoking ban; embraced London’s multiculturalism; said something about being proud of his Muslim heritage; agreed to amnesty for long-term illegal migrants etc.

3) Simon Heffer hates Boris Johnson.

4) Boris will be fantastic fodder for left-wing bloggers.

19:52pm thelondonpaper is saying this may drag on till midnight! People I have a poker game to play 🙁

Links: Neal Lawson of Compass says on CIF that the Third Way is finished.

19:40pm Oh look, ‘fair and balanced’ Andrew Gilligan is on BBC News now.

19:15pm MayorWatch live-blog from City Hall: “Brian Paddick has been here for an hour, now looking rather glum faced, but we’re still waiting for the arrival of both front runners”.

Ther result is now expected around 10pm. I’m gonna grab some food to munch. Who do readers think is going to win?

19:10pm I’m surprised at how much the BBC is trying to downplay Liberal Democrat gains last night, watching the coverage.

19:05pm Well, since everyone else is doing it, I may as well too! I’ve got a few hours to kill before I go play poker with friends and drown my sorrows.

    Share on Tumblr   submit to reddit  

About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
· Other posts by

Story Filed Under: Debates ,Mayor election

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Reader comments

Judging by the rumoured figures (from Conservative Home apparently, though widely reported), it’ll be very close for a Johnson win on first prefs alone. If they’re accurate and representative and there’s anything like uniform swing then I make it about 50% on first preferences. He’s also 1/16 on betfair. I’ve never been happier not to be a Londoner.

A glass of top notch white wine for me tonight – either to celebrate Ken’s going or to brace myself for more of him.

Boris will be fine and if any moaners actually do follow through on their “I’m leaving town” billshit I will eat my hat.

Have a nice long weekend and catch up on your sleep!

I was never a fan of Ken. And while I think Boris is affable, he’s be an utter disaster as mayor.

Mind you, It’ll be hilarious.

I hope it at least goes to second preferences… but it’s not looking like it.

Interesting that the 45 per cent turnout is being described as ‘high’. In local election terms it is. But after saturation coverage of an event revolving around the nearest politics gets to ‘celebrities’ it seems that 55 per cent of registered voters don’t care enough to turn out. That must be saying something…

From ‘thelondonpaper’ live blog (

Current share of the Mayoral vote
Johnson: 520,905 – Livingstone: 454,518 – Paddick: 105,187 (22:08, May 02)

These presumably being the first preference vote, that gives Boris less than 50%. So there’s still hope.

There’s only one solid Ken constituency left – Lambeth and Southwark. The rest will probably all comfortably go to Boris. He might yet do it on first preferences.

After these seats in 2004 Ken was something like 140,000 ahead rather than 70,000 behind.

Depressing, grim stuff.

“The closeness of the race dmonstrates that the newspapers have little impact.”

That doesn’t follow at all Sunny. The closeness of the result only goes to show what a pernicious effect all that press bias has. Do you honestly think if the combined weight of all the papers you mentioned went the other way, then the result wouldn’t have gone the other way as well? Do you not think the Standard’s continual carpet bombing may not have pushed it a couple of points in their man’s direction? That was all that was needed after all.

What? what?? what happened!!!

What’s the latest?? My poker hasnt started yet but i’m already losing control of my faculties…

Ben – but they barely mentioned to shift a few points… it basically means that papers cannot shift elections, only push in the direction the wind is already blowing. There were a lot of people annoyed with Ken and lots who thought he was getting tired. Me included. So that sort of worked against him. But if this was four years ago, I don’t think Ken would have lost…

150,000 after first preferences. About 500,000 2nd preferences I think so they have to break more than 65%-35%. Not going to happen.

Dave Hill wrote on his last update: “[Q]uite a lot of people don’t actually cast a second preference because they don’t understand the system”.

It makes you despair…

Well, it’s official. Hangus the Monkey has a soulmate.

At least it was closer than the Evening Standard was suggesting, going to second preferences. Greens did fantastically well also, the UKIP and Respect/Left List vote collapsing, although the BNP also made gains, sadly.

I suppose plenty of people would have given both 1 and 2 to minor candidates too rather than use it properly. Even Paddick inexplicably gave his second preference to the Left List.

Out tonight at a mate’s birthday – no one could believe the result. My Sunday Times reading oil industry mate voted Sian/Ken. Only one of the guys voted for him, and got a load of abuse from the rest of us. So who the hell did vote for Boris?

Roll on the inevitable cockup. Disillusion with democracy moves up a notch – that’s one less competent politician out of a field of one.

16. Pennyred

Oh, bugger.

I guess about 10% of voters voted for the bottom 8 but didn’t give their 2nd prefs to the top 2 which is about as good as we could have hoped for.

18. Planeshift

Well done london. You voted for a racist overweight buffon who is only known because of his celebrity. It shows you are morons who let newspaers decide who to lead you.

Don’t expect sympathy the next time you want even more money from the rest of the country.

Oh c’mon now, I’m not sure thats entirely fair.

Most of my brown friends who voted for Boris (I plan to shoot them soon enough, don’t worry) did so on bizarre reasoning which seemed more to be driven by gut instinct that London needed a change. Many blamed Ken for bizarre issues (one, for too many speed bumps and speed cameras).

To be honest I don’t think the citisenry is informed about the candidates or the role of the Mayor itself, and just wanted to see a change. I’m not convinced the Evening Standard had much effect… not one of my (non-Muslim) friends even mentioned al-Qaradawi.

20. anticant

That’s right, Sunny – blame the voters! Thank goodness Livingstone is dead wood. As a gay man, I shall never forgive him for snogging the homicidal homophobe Qaradawi. As for Boris, let’s wait and see.

I find it difficult to believe so many Londoners take Boris seriously. That or they don’t take the office seriously. Either way etc.


Reactions: Twitter, blogs

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.